The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

What's New?

Project Progress

Progress has been made in the Family History, Silk Weavers and Find the Lady! Projects

Family History

As well as the Brecht One-Name Study below, potential progress has been made with the Gardiner Family Tree

Gardiner Family Tree

I did a random search to try and find John Gardiner's parents and may have found his christening.

Saint Matthew, Bethnal Green

John Gardiner born 14,7.1790 bp 1.9.1790
(Parents William & Elizabeth Gardiner)

There is a possible marriage of William & Elizabeth but this is speculation:

St Mary Magdelene, Bermondsey

William Gardiner married 12.11.1788 Elizabeth Hazelman

Brecht One-Name Study

I was pleased to hear from a branch of the Brecht Family Tree for the first time. The enquiry from the correspondent/cousin made me look at the Census records while I had the papers out.

I found that one of the missing entries for Edward & Clara Brecht had been recorded by the enumerator as Bright.

I also did some research into the name Lucy Ann (Cornwell) Brecht.

Silk Weavers named Collier

William & Hannah Collier

The year began with some more research into Silk Weavers named Collier.

A descendent of William Collier and Hannah Hood contacted me and it encouraged me to find an entry for William & Hannah in the 1871 Census, still living in Diamond Court.

Abraham& Ann Collier

While I had the papers out, I had another look at other Colliers in the 1690- 1710 years and found another Silk Weaver, Abraham Collier Silk Weaver 2000, the earliest entry for a Silk Weaver to date. The 3 earliest entries have all been at St Dunstan's in Stepney.

Abraham Collier married Ann Russett 5.8.1694 at St Dunstan's and it appears that the couple had 12 children,
according to bp records at St Botolph's, Bishopsgate, St Dunstan's and St Leonards, Shoreditch.

The entries in the St Dunstan records state that Abraham was a weaver in Bethnal Green and Spitalfields.

The entries in the St Leonard records give the family address as Hollywell St.

It could be that some of the family became weavers.

Abraham & Elizabeth Collier

In looking for other Abraham Colliers, I found a series of strange entries:

Fleet Prison

Abraham Collier
married 8.6.1750
Elizabeth Farmer

This was a clandestine marriage under the Rules of the Fleet, but was recorded in 2 church records:

St Botolph, Bishopsgate

Abraham Collier, Weaver of St Botolph, Bishopsgate
married 8.6.1750
Elizabeth Farmer

Unnamed "Spitlefields" Church

Abraham Collier Weaver of Spitlefields
married 8.6.1750 (against the date, the word "Gillotts" is written)
Elizabeth Farmer


Parents of James Collier

As shown in a Timeline, Abraham & Elizabeth could be the parents of Chris' ancestor James Collier:


New Silk Weaver

In typing up some records, I reviewed the information we had on Family 6 and found the marriage of James Collier and Mary Ann Vickers, which showed that James' father was John Collier, Silk Weaver, who was new to us.

I temporarily set up a Family 4 with James& Elizabeth Collier of 9 Virginia Row, Bethnal Green (1851), whom I could not marry up with any other Family.

Things we wish we knew

For some time, I have wanted to publish a summary of what we have found out to date and things we wish we knew,under each family. At long last, I brought the summary to a form that might be published:

Find the Lady!

I have proved that it was Mary (Fawcett) Murray, wife of Major Henry Murray, who kept the Victorian Calling Book that my mother bought on Lymington Market.

Ruby Claudia Stuart Murray

A correspondent sent me a picture of both sides of a condolence envelope, sent to Henry & Mary's daughter Ruby, from his collection. It was edged in black and addressed to:

Ruby C.S. Murray
Hoopers Hill
New Milton S.O.

The envelope was stamped Cambridge 4 May 1908 and stamped on the back Brockenhurst R.S.O. postmark 5 May 1908.My correspondent explained that this was unusual and interesting.

Copies of the front and back of the envelope may be seen by clicking the link below:

Found the Lady again and once more!

He directed me to the website about GB Railway Sub-Offices and Postmarks:

GB Railway Sub-Offices (R.S.O.s)

It appears that until 1900 there were only a few Railway Sub-Offices (R.S.O.s) which used postmarks to identify their status. From 1901 a large number did, but the R.S.O. designation was abolished in 1905.

In 1901 Ruby Murray was aged 9 and lived with her parents at Efford Cottage, Everton per 1901 Census (the family also lived there at the time of the 1891 Census).

Major Murray's address was given as Hoopers Hill, Milton in the release of a marriage settlement trust in 1922. Use of the old name Milton is a little odd, because a Mrs Newhook opened a New Milton Sub Post Office opposite the station and the new name of New Milton was adopted in 1896/7.

Found the Lady again and once more!

One of the members of the Milford on Sea Historical Research Discussion Group found the graves of Henry & Mary Murray in the graveyard at All Saints Church, Milford on Sea.

This inspired me to review the dates that the Murrays were in Hoopers Hill including the 1911 Census. A fuller account may be found by clicking on tnhe following link:

Found the Lady again and once more!

Major Pringle Taylor

A correspondent sought further information about Major Pringle Taylor who lived at Pennington House. The house is not located in Lower Pennington Lane near the Oakhaven Hospice as I thought, but in Ridgeway Lane.

Visit to Galway

It was the Galway entries in the Calling Book in 1885 that provided the final piece of the jigsaw that proved that Mary Murray was the lady who kept the Calling Book.

There were a number of outstanding questions, so it was exciting to have the opportunity to visit Galway, though with mixed fortunes!

Visit to Galway August 2017

Colin Bower
4 September 2017

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